A 2001 episode of The Simpsons "raises questions" as to whether the Arab Spring and the Syrian civil war was part of a "global conspiracy," the Egyptian TV channel al-Tahrir claimed in a report aired earlier this week.
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According to al-Tahrir anchor Rania Badawy, the episode of the popular cartoon makes use of a symbol identical to the Syrian opposition flag, a decade before the Syrian civil war erupted and that group was formed, which raises the question whether "what is happening in Syria today is premeditated," Foreign Policy magazine reported.
In the episode "New Kids on the Blecch," Bart Simpson and his friends form a boy band called Party Posse, and create a music video called "Drop Da Bomb," containing the lyrics " Your love's more deadly than Saddam / That's why I gotta drop da bomb!"
In the musical segment, Bart and his band are seen bombing militants standing near a jeep emblazoned with the tell-tale flag.
"This is from 2001 -- before there was such a thing called the 'Syrian opposition,'" the anchor observed. "That's why people are saying on Facebook that this is a conspiracy."
"This raises many question marks about what happened in the Arab Spring revolutions and about when this global conspiracy began," the anchor concluded.
Answering a query by the American magazine Mother Jones, Simpsons executive producer Al Jean said: "Yes, we had the amazing foresight to predict conflict in the Middle East."
However, the New York Times addressed the issue, and in a thorough explanation showed the flag was not originally designed by the Syrian opposition, but was in fact the old green, white and black tricolor used by Syria for most of three decades beginning in 1932.
The flag was eventually replaced by the red, black and white tricolor one after a military coup in 1963, which resulted in Syria's President Bashar Assad's father, Hafez, taking power.